Chapter 2: Sharing Information Is an
OJJDP Priority


Report on Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders

In 1997, OJJDP released information from a groundbreaking report that presents a comprehensive assessment of serious and violent juvenile (SVJ) offenders. The report contains research-based information on these offenders, programs that have been tried and how well they have performed, and lessons that policymakers and practitioners have learned.

The report is the product of OJJDP's Study Group on Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders, funded in 1995 through the University of Pittsburgh. The study group was created to help jurisdictions implement OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy. The report provides an authoritative discussion of issues surrounding SVJ offenders, a population that poses the greatest challenge to State and local policymakers. It integrates the concept of risk and protective factors with information about intervention and prevention programs. The study group included 29 juvenile justice and criminology researchers who spent almost 2 years examining hundreds of studies from the United States, Canada, England, Scandinavia, and other countries. Some of the authors' conclusions are as follows:

  • SVJ offenders are a distinct group who tend to start offending early and continue late.
  • From childhood to adolescence, SVJ offenders tend to develop behavior problems, including aggression, dishonesty, property offenses, and conflict with authority figures.
  • Prevention interventions for young children at risk of becoming SVJ offenders are known to be effective and should be implemented at an early age.
  • Interventions and sanctions for known SVJ offenders can reduce their risk of reoffending.
An OJJDP Bulletin summarizing the report was released in March 1998. Additional products will be developed and will be available online from JJC in the near future.

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OJJDP Annual Report August 1998